Any successful travel brand has a blog. Take a look for yourself. They might not all advertise it as a blog, sometimes opting for words such as 'Inspiration' or 'Tips & advice', but there will be some helpful content to be found on their site.
So why is it that the top travel brands see writing a blog as imperative? Some 92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer directly from their blog – that's one reason.
Also, travellers love blogs, which is why so many bloggers have made a living off blogging about their travel adventures - such as Abigail King, who swapped a career as a doctor to be a blogger.
You might think that the competition amongst travel blogs is so intense that it's not worth the effort of trying to be heard, but 81% of companies consider their blogs "useful," "important," or "critical", according to Hubspot. This suggests that in spite of great competition, there are plenty of benefits to be found from blogging.
Let's take a look at the obvious benefits:
1. It drives traffic to your website
Google has steadily been tweaking its ranking algorithm to take into account quality content, meaning that the more quality content you're writing, the better chance you'll show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search.
Blogging also goes hand-in-hand with social media. It's hard to imagine being able to regularly post interesting posts on social media without having a regular supply of new blog content to share to with your followers.
We all know how important social media is these days to travel firms: 92% of consumers say they trust earned media - such as social media, word of mouth, recommendation from friends and family - above all forms of advertising. However, without a blog, how exactly do you expect to get customers from social networks to your website?
2. It helps convert traffic into leads
First things first, let's manage expectations: not every reader of your blog will become a lead. Some people will use your content and not bother to look into the brand behind it. We're fine with that, although there are ways and means to legitimately obtain crucial data from visitors.
The jury is out on call-to-action buttons, with some marketers of the opinion that they're a bit too hard-sell. However, if your call-to-action button leads visitors through to more helpful content, on the condition that they hand over a few details, everybody is a winner.
3. It helps boost your credibility
As a travel brand, chances are you will harbour a whole load of knowledge about travelling that your visitors would lap up. By offering up some of that knowledge free of charge, you will start to build a reputation as a business that knows what it's talking about when it comes to travel.
If you can consistently act as inspiration to travellers and provide them with answers to their questions, you stand a better chance of them doing business with you in the future than a firm that's not got any content to show for itself.
4. It keeps on giving
According to Hubspot, around 70% of the traffic each month on its blog comes from posts that weren't published in the current month. What that shows you is that a blog post can keep on driving traffic and leads months after it was first posted.
However, this also underlines the importance of patience when it comes to blogging. You might not see any immediate results, but if you keep on posting high-quality content, that is aligned with what travellers are searching and presented in an engaging format that demands to be shared, you'll start to see the results.
As inspiration for content that resonates with travellers, search out the most popular travel bloggers like Abigail King, who clearly have a nose for what works. For ideas from your fellow travel brands, we suggest checking out the Sta Travel blog, the Lonely Planet blog, or Kuoni's 'Travel inspiration' articles.
They're not doing anything difficult – just posting unique content that holds plenty of relevance to travellers. However, their respective brands are so much stronger for it.